The right to freedom of expression and speech should be restricted to some extent in the interest of all. Do you agree or disagree?
Freedom of expression and speech means having the right of seeking, receiving, imparting information or all kinds of ideas and speaking freely. This right is also considered as a basic human right so every citizen can enjoy the freedom of expression and speech. In 1948, this right was declared human right by Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The right to freedom of expression and speech is closely related to some other rights like “right to a fair trial”, “freedom of the press” etc. It is very important right because of some aspects. This right is important for making effective decision; government for running the state and for establishing accountability. Freedom of expression and speech is narrowly linked with democracy. Voice and Accountability are required to set up good quality governance. Before exercising voice and accountability, the right to freedom of expression and speech has to establish properly. Although freedom of expression and speech is one of the important right as well as human right, it has some limitation. So this right is not hundred percent free for everybody. Such restrictions are required to protect respect for the right and reputation of others; national security; public order; public health; public morals and state secrets etc. But this limitation has to have up to certain level. Finally the right to freedom of expression and speech should be implemented properly with considering some restriction.
The term freedom of expression is includes having the free will of seeking, receiving and imparting information or all kinds of ideas. Expression can be any forms like orally, in written, in print, through the internet or through art forms. Freedom of expression is also understood as a multi faceted right that includes not only the right to express, or disseminate, information and ideas, but also three other aspects. Those are the right to seek information and ideas; the right to receive information and ideas and the right to impart information and ideas. Freedom of speech is the freedom of speaking freely. Freedom of expression and speech is considered under the human right. The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right and recognized in international human rights law. So as human being and also the citizen of democratic country, right to freedom of expression and speech is our one of basic right for all. But in reality this right is not excess able by all citizen in our society. The powerful class has enjoyed the freedom of expression and speech where as powerless is struggle for it. Although freedom of expression and speech is human right, there are some restrictions. The purpose of this restrictions are to protect others reputation, national security, public order, public health and public morals. So the right to freedom of expression and speech can be restricted but up to a certain level. This research paper contain many aspect regarding this issue and what extent freedom of expression and speech should be restricted
Freedom of expression & speech and human right
The right to freedom of expression and speech fall under the Human right. Since it is a human right so there is no option to discriminate. Every person or legal entity whatever the class can enjoy the right. “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. According to this statement freedom of expression is human rights for all whatever the class. Under the freedom of speech, people are allowed to convey opinions, ideas or information. The right to free speech applies to everyone whether natural or legal persons . So not only human being this freedom can be enjoyed by any corporation as well.
Origins of this right
Freedom of expression and speech has a long history that predates modern international human rights instruments. It was thought that ancient Athens’ democratic ideology of free speech may have emerged in the late 6th or early 5th century BC. Two of the most cherished values of the Roman Republic were freedom of religion and freedom of speech. In Islamic ethics, freedom of speech was first declared in the Rashidun period by the caliph Umar in the 7th century AD. In the Abbasid Caliphate period, freedom of speech was also declared by al-Hashimi. In modern democratic society freedom of expression and speech was declared as human rights. In 1948, it was declared by Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Relationship with other rights
The right to freedom of expression and speech is narrowly related to other rights and can be limited when conflicting with other rights. The right to freedom of expression is related to the “right to a fair trial” and court proceeding which may limit access to the search for information or determine the opportunity and means in which freedom of expression is proved within court proceedings. In general, freedom of expression may not limit the right to privacy as well as the honor and reputation of others. Another right which is “freedom of the press” also closely related with discussed right. The freedom of expression is most important for the media since they bear the freedom of expression and speech for all. But under the freedom of the press, media does not get full freedom to express and speech.
Importance of freedom of expression & speech
The importance of freedom of expression and speech are basic and valuable characteristic of society which cannot be underestimated. The modern world is now a place where people free for all freedoms are by and large in move away. There is lots of aspect why freedom of expression and speech is important. One of the important aspects is decision making. For effective decision making, it is mandatory that to allow free speech to all whom are in decision group. From the corporate point of view, all level of employees should get chance to talk freely to their superiors for effective management.
Freedom of expression and speech also important for government because if they do not know what general public feel and think about them, they cannot run the state by following public expectation. Another things government is accountable to public to their activities. So if public do not get the freedom to express their opinion then how can they rise question against illegal activities of government. So to establish a proper accountable environment in political system freedom expression and speech is mandatory. On the hand Freedom of speech is also important to governments because when criticisms of a government are freely raised, the government has the opportunity to protest toward unfair comments and criticisms about their actions.
Another aspect, the freedom of speech is the single most important human right of citizens. No political action is possible without free speech and no resistance to injustice and oppression is possible. Policies of contestants become known to the public and become responsive to public opinion only by desirable quality of free speech. So due to many aspects discussed on above, the right to freedom of expression and speech is most important issue for society.
Democracy and freedom of expression & speech
The freedom of expression and speech is closely linked to Democracy. In democratic society, Government is elected by the public. One thing we all know that Government is by the people, of the people and for the people. So people should get the freedom of expression and speech. If the freedom of expression is being limited that means public debate may not be fully concealed even in times of emergency. The concept of democracy is of self-government by the people where informed electorate is necessary and to be appropriately knowledgeable, there must be no constraints on the free flow of information and ideas. According to Meiklejohn, democracy will not be true to its essential ideal if those who are in power able to manipulate the electorate by preservation of information and hot criticism. So manipulate opinion can stop from the motive of seeking benefit for society. The freedom of speech and the process of accountability have a significant impact in the quality of governance of a country. Voice and Accountability are most significant tools to establish effective governance who only works for social welfare. Voice and Accountability refers the extent to which country’s citizen are allow to participate in criticism of government activities, get freedom of expression, freedom of association and free media. So the right to freedom of expression and speech is linked to democratic society.
Restriction of right to freedom of expression and speech
The right to freedom of expression and speech is one of important right in society and also a human right. But this right is not hundred percent free, it has some limitation or restriction. This restriction was posed for social welfare. If the right would full free that might create some unrest condition in society.
Why this right need to be restricted :
There are some reasons for that the right to freedom of expression and speech need to be restricted. Reasons are as follows _
· The sole purpose is the protection of respect for the right and reputation of others. Such as restriction will protect the privacy and also provide for a right in reply in the press.
· To protect the national security, restriction is imposed on freedom of expression and speech. Like restriction of disclosing the state secrets and to handling of military.
· Another purpose of limitation or restrictions is to protect of public order, bearing in mind the problems arising out of the ambiguity of the very notion of public order.
· Protection of public health may also require some restriction of the freedom of expression. For example impose restriction should impose on advertising of tobacco, alcohol and other products which harmful for health.
· Some limitation needs to design to protect public morals.
· Restriction also require to prevent the disclosure of information received in confidence includes forbidding a civil servant to disclose official secrets imparted to him in confidence.
To what extent and how the right should be restricted :
The right to freedom of expression and speech in need to be restricted but to what extent how the right would be limited that should be established. Like _
· People are not allowed to free speech against someone where his/her intention is hamper that person’s reputation.
· Personal information, that need privacy, of any individual cannot be disclosed by someone unless his/her permission.
· Government employees cannot express any secrets information of state to others. Military information is not bound to disclose.
· The activities or product that can cause the hamper of public health, those activities and products cannot be communicated to public by any media.
· Media cannot telecast whatever they want, they have to consider the sensitive issue.
· If any speech create a conflict among the public morals that should be restricted.
· If the intention of expression and speech is to create apolitical unrest that should be restricted.
· Any organization or business cannot express negative word against their competitor to destroy their image.
The freedom of expression and speech is one of basic right for a citizen or any legal entity for being part of the country. So they can enjoy the freedom of speech. There are so many necessities we have discuss above why this right need to establish properly. Especially in democratic society this right works as a accountability toward general public. Although the freedom expression and speech is important, it cannot be full free. There are some limitations or restriction involves here to maintain the proper use of rights. But to what extent this right should be restricted that need to mention and I have provided some own opinion regarding limitations. Finally the right to freedom of expression and speech cannot be ignore by any country and have to establish proper use of this right.
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